(about a 2-minute read)
SUPPLY CHAIN IS NOT THE NAME OF A FUNKY NECKLACE
I want to kindly welcome you to my whole new world of manufacturing and supply chain. If you know nothing about this process, you aren’t alone. I didn’t either before I embarked on this journey.
I want to produce Classic Six here in the United States for so many reasons, but one of them includes the luxury of being on-site for production, to check each and every item for quality control. With that decision firmly established, I started the hunt for a US manufacturer. You would think living in NYC, blocks away from the garment district would make this a breeze, right? WRONG. Let's just say I anticipate kissing many frogs before I find my prince.
As I mentioned in the article I wrote about pattern-making, this is also the type thing you want to get right the first time. You really only get one shot at the right manufacturer, so it requires a lot of due diligence. These people are essentially your biggest parters in business. You wouldn’t marry a man you weren’t 100% sure you were madly in love with, right? This same certainty is imperative to make this decision, so I am not taking it lightly.
DIFFERENT KIND OF BARGAINISTA
One of the first questions these manufacturers ask upon seeing your spec sheets is:
“What is your retail price?”
Of course, being the bargainista that I once was, I want to be able to produce my pieces at the BEST possible cost, so my retail price can reflect that.
Well, this is where I got my first hard slap of reality.
Producing in the USA is SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive than producing over-seas. In fact, what I initially wanted for my retail pricing is ultimately what the pieces are going to cost to have made. This means that my retail price is now going to be double what I had once dreamed. Getting the price down requires finding the best fabrics for the best prices, and the most qualified manufacturer for the most acceptable cost of labor.
But, hey, if you know me, you know I never met a “find the best price” challenge I didn’t embrace.
Who's my girl?
In the name of true transparency, my increase in retail price forced me to go back to the drawing board and decide where in the market I want to position myself. I will not be able to compete with the Zaras of the world for the quality that I expect, and I am embarrassed now to even say that I once thought that was possible.
So, who's my girl? Well, for one thing, she really appreciates quality. I can see her shopping brands like Rag & Bone, Sandro and Maje, but with their retail price just a bit out of reach, she would normally wait for a 20% off sale to buy. That said, if she is absolutely in love with a piece and knows she will wear it for years to come, she would pay full-price.
Is that any of you?
Would you pay more for quality, timeless pieces that you know you will one day pass down to your children?
Comment on my latest instagram post!
I want to hear!